Some people prefer a more formal portrait of their pet, often within a studio
setting. In this case, try a head and shoulders depiction of the animal looking
into the camera. This is when you’ll want to work closely with the owner
in posing the animal and positioning it against the backdrop that you’ve
chosen. The ideal situation is a trained dog, which will sit or stay on command.
Try to set up your shot in advance. You’ll get cleaner lines and less
clutter by removing the animal’s collar and leash. On the other hand,
some people enjoy pictures of small, long-haired dogs with ribbons in their
hair, a kitten in a basket, or a pet dressed up in a funny costume—it’s
all up to you or the pet’s owner.
photo by Mary-Ella Keith, San Diego, CA
The secret is to have your camera ready at all times, and be ready to shoot
at a moment’s notice. If your cat enjoys curling up near a particular
window, or your dog likes to romp in the backyard, you can often anticipate
a pet’s endearing behavior and plan ahead to capture it with your camera.
Don’t overlook props; you can get some great action shots of your dog
leaping to catch a Frisbee, or a kitten pouncing on a toy. The animal will be
stimulated by the activity, and you’ll get some colorful, interesting
images at the same time.
photo by Joan Eisenbeis, Festus, MO
A clean, well-groomed subject will always yield better results. Examine the
corners of the pet’s eyes, and gently remove any tear matter. Also, watch
out for drool that is common with some dog breeds. Keep a small towel handy
to wipe up around the dog’s mouth whenever necessary.
4 Tips For Perfect Pet Photos
• Use a telephoto lens to move in close and a wide angle lens to show
the animal in its environment.
• Use fill flash to get catchlights in the animal’s eyes.
• Shoot both formal portraits and candid images for variety.
• Make sure the animal is well-groomed before shooting pictures.